Monday, March 20, 2006

Four Corners

What a great start to the best time of year. It hard for me to describe how excited I get prior to the start of the tournament. My productivity at work declines, my relationship with my family is temporarily tarnished, and I don’t shower. I will work on the first two problems in April and make amends, but there is really no reason to stay dirty, so I may fix that problem sooner than later. So many fantastic games, both from a spread point of view, as well as the actual game too. Today I will document some of my thoughts and come back with predictions on the games on Wednesday.

My final four is still intact. I picked Uconn to defeat UCLA in the final game, with Texas and Florida joining them as the other two entrants. How do I feel about this now? Actually, not very good. I am worried about Uconn. They don’t have the look of a champion. I watched almost every game played over the last four days, but I have to admit that I have not heard Rudy Gay’s name mentioned at all. Yes, he had 19 points on Sunday, but if he is truly the player he/we think he is, then he should be dominating, not sharing the spot light with Rashard Anderson. Marcus Williams cannot do this alone, and so far he is. If they don’t turn up the intensity, they will lose to Washington. Other than Uconn, I feel pretty good about my final four picks. Florida is playing great and so is UCLA. Texas took care of business in Dallas, as they should.

Duke, if they both get there, will be a big test for Texas. JJ Redick is an outstanding college basketball player. I emphasize the word “college” because I don’t think he will contribute at the next level. But, in college, there is nobody better. He is capable of making any shot, from anywhere on the court, at any time. He looks like he is just toying with some of these guys. Who else is playing at a high level? I really like Craig Smith. He reminds me a lot of myself as a player, great body and intimidating enforcer down low. He smoothly made two free throws at the end of the Pacific game to tie it. He is very hard to stop. I bet he is no bigger than 6”4’. Have you seen Glen “Big Baby” Davis, or Roy Hibbert put the ball on the court and dribble? They guys can play and are really mucking up things inside for their opponents. Patrick O’Braynt of Bradley made himself a lot of money yesterday. I think Allen Ray will make the best pro next year. Great shot, and quick hands and feet. Obviously, after getting his eye poked out, he is tough.

I still believe that George Mason is the best team in Washington DC.


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